European banks higher; Barclays leads 100 in London

| July 20, 2011 | 0 Comments
European banks higher; Barclays leads 100 in London

Equities markets were higher in Europe on Wednesday as banks advanced ahead of a meeting of the European Union on the region’s debt problems, and on hopes that debt concerns in the US will be avoided by an agreement on what to do with the debt ceiling there.

The FTSE 100 was up 1.1 percent to 5,853.82 in London, while the FTSE 250 added 0.94 percent to 11,701.5, with banks leading the way on the 100 as they did on the Dax in Frankfurt and on the CAC-40 in Paris.

Barclays Bank (LSE: BARC) led gains in the London banking sector and on the 100 as it added 5.2 percent, while Lloyds Banking Group (LSE: LLOY) was up 4.1 percent and Royal Bank of Scotland (LSE: RBS) gained 3.08 percent, while Societe Generale (Euronext: GLE) was at the top of the CAC-40 as it added 5.14 percent and Commerzbank (FWB: CBK) was up 6.31 percent as the top gainer on the Dax.

Imagination Technologies Group (LSE: IMG) was up 10.15 percent as the chipmaker led gains on the 250, while ARM Holdings (LSE: ARM), which makes chips for Apple’s (NAS: AAPL) iPhone, was up 4.89 percent.

The telecommunications sector dominated the list of top decliners on the 250 as Cable & Wireless Communications (LSE: CWC) was down 3.15 percent to lead declines in the index, followed by a 3.09 percent decline for COLT Group SA (LSE: COLT) while Cable & Wireless Worldwide (LSE: CW) dropped 2.27 percent.

Commodities trader Glencore International (LSE: GLEN) was the worst performer on the 100 after it declined by 1.29 percent.

Most sectors were higher, with home builders and utilities joining the banking sector with all shares higher, while the chemicals sector saw only one declines, while insurers, the travel and leisure sector and the media sector only had two declines each and there were only three decliners in the real estate sector.

Among the seven decliners in the mostly higher mining sector, BHP Billiton (LSE: BLT) added 1.66 percent after it said its iron ore output was up 14 percent in its fourth quarter, while in bids news, financial software provider Misys plc (LSE: MSY) added 7.76 percent on rumors that it is close to being acquired by Fidelity National Information Services (NYSE: FIS).

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was up 1.24 percent to 1,090.19 while the Dax added 0.4 percent to 7,221.36, the CAC-40 was 1.61 percent higher to 3,754.6 with only two decliners and the IBEX gained 3.06 percent to 9,732.8 and saw just three decliners.

Most markets in the Asia-Pacific region were higher on hopes that the crisis over the US debt ceiling will be solved before a deadline for default.

The Nikkei 225 was up 1.17 percent to 10,005.9 in Tokyo, while the Topix index added 0.81 percent to 860.66 but the Mothers market was down 0.43 percent to 481.81.

Exporters were up on the optimism over debt problems in the United States, including gains for carmakers, with Toyota Motor (TYO: 7203) up 0.6 percent and Honda Motor (TYO: 7267) was 1.3 percent higher, while oil producers saw gains as crude prices advances, with Japan Petroleum Exploration (TYO: 662) up 1.2 percent and Inpex (TYO: 1605) added 1.9 percent.

Toshiba Corp (TYO: 6502), which makes some music and photo storage chips for Apple’s iPhone, was up 2.7 percent after Apple (NAS: AAPL) said profits were up in its fiscal third quarter on sales that were 82 percent higher.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was up 0.46 percent to 22,003.7, the Straits Times Index added 0.98 percent to 3,126.53 in Singapore, South Korea’s Kospi was 1.16 percent higher to 2,154.95, Australia’s markets were up with the Sydney Ordinaries gaining 1.74 percent to 4,618.4 while the S&P/ASX200 added 1.83 percent to 4,549.7, and the Taiex was 2.13 percent higher to 8,706.17.

The Shanghai Composite was 0.1 percent lower to 2,794.21 while India’s Sensex dropped 0.81 percent to 18,502.4.

Equities markets were lower in midday trade in New York, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 0.07 percent to 12,578.5 while the S&P 500 had dropped just 0.05 of a point to 1,326.68 and the Nasdaq Composite was 0.42 percent lower to 2,814.62.

Crude oil prices were mixed as West Texas Intermediate crude was down 52 cents at midday but recent reports had Brent crude up 6 cents in London trade, while metals prices were lower in New York including a decline of $5.40 for gold, to $1,595.70 per troy ounce.

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